Australia’s largest coal export facility in Newcastle is set for a favorable August, with the Newcastle Coal Infrastructure (NCIG) terminal returning to normal operations and Port Waratah Coal Services (PWCS) terminals reaching full capacity.
NCIG’s shiploader, which has been idle since November, has resumed operations and potentially adds 1.25mt/month to the port’s export capacity. PWCS terminals increased exports to 10.57 mt in July from 9.26 mt in June and from 6.86 mt in July 2020. This is the maximum that PWCS has shipped since a record 10.96 million tonnes in December and after two months of maintenance in May. -June.
Capacity build-up at PWCS, the return of the NCIG shiploader and higher-than-average port inventories should lead to strong exports from Newcastle in August, despite a major rail maintenance scheduled for 9-12 August .
Ship queues outside Newcastle are still longer than average with 36 today, down from a near 10-year high of 40 from 6 July . The average order processing time at the port has increased to 13.51 days in July from 10.86 days in June. This compares to an average of 5.35 days in January-June 2020 and 3.81 days in January-June 2020.
NCIG has shipped about 3.4 million tonnes per month since the damage to its loader in November, about 1.25 million tonnes per month less than the eight-month average before the incident. NCIG does not publish its monthly export figures, but they can be deduced from Newcastle port data, which appears later in the month.
Operations at Newcastle are again hampered today by strong winds, which were also a major factor over several days in July.
Stocks at the PWCS terminal rose to 2.23mt at the end of July from 1.88mt at the end of June, and this should help the port cope with a major rail shutdown on the line linking it to mines in the Hunter Valley. -12 August. On 24-25 July the railway was undergoing minor repairs.
Argus last valued high-quality Australian thermal coal at $151.90 per tonne Newcastle at 6,000 kcal/kg on July 30, up from $120.58 per tonne on June 4 and a low of $46.18 per tonne on September 4. On July 31, the company priced low-grade coal at $92.93 per tonne at Newcastle for NAR 5,500 kcal/kg, up from $70.10 per tonne on June 4 and $35.04 per tonne on September 4.
The 6,000 NAR heat-adjusted premium for higher-grade thermal coal was a record $50.52/tonne on July 31, compared with $44.11/tonne on June 4 and $8.65/tonne at the end of August last year.
Deliveries of semi-soft coking coal accounted for about 10% of Newcastle’s supply. Argus last estimated semi-soft coking coal prices at $126.90 per tonne in Australia on August 3. The price for coking coal in Australia on August 3, compared with $92.90 per tonne on May 31. The Australian government’s semi-soft mid-volatility prices for coking coal were US$126.90 per tonne on May 31 and US$71.20 per tonne on December 31. The average price for coking coal was US$126.90 per tonne on 31 December.